Once again, I must give my special thanks to Jasmine over at Beneath the Moon and Stars for lending me this beautiful book. She seriously has saved my sanity and I am forever in her debt.
Chronicling the rise of the Keepers, this is the stunning prequel to Andrea Cremer's internationally bestselling Nightshade trilogy!
Sixteen-year-old Ember Morrow is promised to a group called Conatus after one of their healers saves her mother's life. Once she arrives, Ember finds joy in wielding swords, learning magic, and fighting the encroaching darkness loose in the world. She also finds herself falling in love with her mentor, the dashing, brooding, and powerful Barrow Hess. When the knights realize Eira, one of their leaders, is dabbling in dark magic, Ember and Barrow must choose whether to follow Eira into the nether realm or to pledge their lives to destroying her and her kind.
With action, adventure, magic, and tantalizing sensuality, this book is as fast-paced and breathtaking as the Nightshade novels.
Just last summer, I was swept up into the Nightshade Trilogy. Right after I finished reading Nightshade, I immediately picked up Wolfsbane and then I had to wait anxiously for months to go by for the release of Bloodrose. Then I catch wind that her next book will not only be a prequel to the Nightshade Trilogy, but it will also be historical fiction, as in the story goes way back into Medieval Times. After hearing that, I pretty much died and went to heaven because I love historical fiction, especially the ones with the strong heroines.
Ember isn't your typical teenage girl waiting to be swept off her feet by some rich nobleman. If anything, she doesn't believe she needs a man in her life. She craves adventure and freedom, knowledge and a sense of belonging. Nobody knows what she really wants to do and what she does, besides her best friend Alistair, or else she'd have to face punishment, and not to mention the fact that it's culturally taboo for a girl to even think such things. So when she gets the day comes when she will be taken away by members of Conatus, instead of being afraid, she's pretty darn excited. It's her way out of the monotonous duties of being a noble lady.
Andrea really took a risk with this book because instead of it being written in first person--like in the Nighshade books--it's written in third. But Andrea tackled the writing technique flawlessly; I found no inconsistencies in the writing.
The story I found was extremely interesting and intriguing. If you've read the Nightshade books and then read Rift, things start to make sense. You're really reading the world that ended up creating the Keepers and the Searchers. I found it all very fascinating. And the history in the book was spot-on. The Crusades and the Templars were mentioned and I almost did little happy dances every time. Although, it all makes sense since Andrea was a history professor. . .
As always, I found the imagery pretty good. She used beautiful similes and really knew how to use her sensory words. I've never been to Medieval Time Europe, but I feel as if I have been there. So, I was very happy about that.
Overall, I gave this book five out of five stars and probably two thumbs up, too. This is another start to a series that shows a lot of promise. I loved it from the start to the very end, soaking all of it in. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series. I really look forward to reading how Ember's story will unwind, and hopefully all of you will, too.
Rift comes out officially on August 7th!